Since 1999, Greenpoint nonprofit Booklyn has been supporting artists and their work, through publications, representation, gallery openings, or the sale of their artwork.
Booklyn currently represents 100 artists from around the world. Those who work exclusively with them make $20,000 to $40,000 per year on average, according to Director of Collection Development, Artist Representative, and Chief Curator Marshall Weber. “A lot of times people come to us since we have a fairly high profile in the art and publishing worlds. A lot of the time I’m looking for artists. I’m constantly reviewing art.”
The nonprofit works hand in hand with educational facilities consulting on their curriculum and choosing which arts books to use. Booklyn employees train teachers, hold bookmaking workshops, and lecture about the history of arts bookmaking.
Every five weeks, they hold a gallery opening, to present a zine of the artists’ work they’re exhibiting. “The gallery program, since my residency, has been dedicated to providing self-publishing artists, who generally share their work through zines and other printed matter, with a platform for exhibition, experimentation, and exploration outside of the printed format,” said Aimee Lusty, the gallery director and resident curator.
Their next exhibit, “War is Trauma,” which runs from December 3rd through January 8th is a collaboration with Justseeds Artists’ Cooperative, an artists’ collective in Mexico, Canada, and the United States, and Iraq Veterans Against the War. It will feature over 30 artists who made a print supporting the end of the war and the rights of GIs.
In the past, Booklyn has held exhibitions like “Hunter/Gatherer,” which focused on found objects artists had collected from local environments; “Can’t Abscond,” a steampunk influenced show; and “CRAPTASTIC!,” in which artists put together work that showed a more humorous view of the world.
In just over a decade, the group’s impact on the art world has been substantial. Booklyn has represented around 500 artists whose work goes for as much as $25,000 a piece. According to Weber, they have recently sold their 10-year archive to the Library of Congress. Now, they’re expanding out of North Brooklyn, and working with a school in Mexico on their political posters. “[Booklyn is] a really high-energy, innovative, and progressive organization,” he said. We see great art all the time.”